Back to the drawing board as Trop design is rejected
THE Tropicana development has been delayed again in a wrangle over car parking. North Somerset Council has told developer Henry Boot to improve the parking element of its plans for the seafront site in Weston
THE Tropicana development has been delayed again in a wrangle over car parking.North Somerset Council has told developer Henry Boot to improve the parking element of its plans for the seafront site in Weston.The firm presented two options to the officers and councillors on the Tropicana Project Board last week.But the schemes, which included a one or two storey car park on the beach, were criticised on visual grounds. Henry Boot was told to bring better designs to another meeting two weeks from Friday (Sept 29)The company had previously wanted to build underground parking below the Tropicana, but this was ruled out by the Environment Agency.The Tropicana board is happy with the rest of Henry Boot's plans, including the size of the proposed pool and arrangements for businesses to operate key services like a bowling alley and cinema.Project board member Cllr Elfan Ap Rees said: "When the Environment Agency turned down underground parking, we had to give Henry Boot the opportunity to sort out its plans. Much better to do it now than leave it until the last minute."The project board has delayed the deadline, not Henry Boot, because we wanted to get it right."The problem with parking is really the visual impact of the design. It was felt that this could be improved."We didn't tell Henry Boot exactly what to come up with because we want its designers to have free rein to use their imagination."A Henry Boot spokesman said: "There is a desire on both sides to find the best parking option on what is a difficult and complex site."Council leader Cllr Alan Hockridge, said: "We are pleased with how the scheme is coming together, especially the proposals for the pool which will provide for those looking for fun and those wanting to swim lengths."Once the parking issue is solved and the full council has approved the plans, the council and developer will be ready to sign a development agreement which will tie the firm to the project and trigger a planning application.The latest extension is Henry Boot's second. It was meant to sign the development agreement in June but was given a three-month extension to refine its plans.Previous Trop hopeful MACE was given a series of extensions before it finally pulled out of the scheme in November 2004, five years after it first got involved.